The Sesame Place controversy made its way to Wednesday’s edition of “The View”.
During the segment, moderator Whoopi Goldberg discussed the viral video in which someone costumed as “Sesame Street” Muppet Rosita, walking in a parade at the Sesame Place theme park in Philadelphia, waves away a pair of Black children after greeting some white kids.
As Goldberg pointed out, the park isn’t owned by non-profit Sesame Workshop, which essentially licenses the “Sesame Street” brand to SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, who actually run the place.
“And if you think they did not catch hell for what was done, it’s crazy,” Goldberg said. “The two little girls are 6-year-olds, they are cousins, and Rosita was their favourite character.”
While the park has offered shifting explanations for the employee’s behaviour, co-host Sunny Hostin pointed out that similar videos have emerged in which Rosita similarly ignores children of colour. “Rosita seems to be a repeat offender,” said Hostin.
While the park has announced employees will now be given diversity training, co-host Sara Haines was dismissive.
“If you have to teach inclusion and how to treat a young child, they need to be in another job,” said Haines, which brought a round of applause from the studio audience.
Goldberg continued by sharing her personal experience with Sesame Workshop.
“Well, I’ll tell you why that’s happened, because I talked to the people at ‘Sesame Street’. Okay. Because I work with them a lot, and I said, ‘What the hell?’” Goldberg declared.
“And basically they said, ‘Listen. We’re all over this because our characters — the children must feel like these characters are the characters they expect them to be. So, we’re all over this,’” she added.
“So I suspect a lot of what they’re going to be doing, all the diversity training, all that stuff, is coming from Sesame Workshop saying, ‘Oh no. Whoever is dealing with these characters, they’re going to have the information they need. We’re sorry we have to talk to you like this, but clearly you need to understand you can’t do that for kids.’”